Jeremy Hill ready for 2016 season

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Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) carries the ball for a touchdown in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The bengals won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) carries the ball for a touchdown in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The bengals won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jeremy Hill was recently a guest on NFL Network’s “Move the Sticks” podcast. Click here to watch his interview. 

Jeremy Hill‘s sophomore season wasn’t spectacular. Even “good” might be an overstatement. After a fantastic rookie year, Hill came crashing down to earth in 2015. What’s the running back’s outlook on 2016?

“I know I gotta step up,” Hill told Bucky Brooks of NFL Network. “You know, be the guy my teammates know I can be and my coaches know I can be. I’m ready.”

“I’m ready.”

Hill directly addressed his sophomore slump on the podcast, breaking the news that he was injured coming into last season. “Yeah, I mean obviously my rookie year was a success, but last year was a little different for me,” Hill said. “I started the year off a little banged up with some knee issues, but kinda got my legs back under me towards the end of the season.”

While this injury was unknown to the public until now, it’s hard to argue it doesn’t make sense. In a previously inexplicable Trent Richardson-esque sequence of events, Hill had gone from 1124 yards on 222 carries (5.1 YPC) as a rookie to just 794 yards on 223 carries (3.6 YPC) in his second year. This injury information should give Bengals fans some peace of mind.

Hill says he’s back to full health now, and actually hopes to get more carries next year. “I’m a ‘feel’ guy, so the more carries I get, the more confidence I get, the more I feel like I can impose my will on the defense,” Hill said.

While commenting he believed himself to be an underrated receiver, Hill also expressed nothing but praise for the premier pass-catching back in Cincinnati. Hill says that while he’s happy the coaches are beginning to recognize his own catching talent, “with Gio on our team, that’s his thing, and I think he’s the best third-down back in the league.”

Despite a rough end to last season and the departures of wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, Hill was optimistic about his team for next year. “I like the direction we’re going in and I’m excited for 2016,” Hill said. He added that “everybody came back to OTA’s locked in and ready to go.”

After listening the interview, it’s hard not to get excited about Hill and the Bengals’ potential for next season. Hill said it himself: the only thing stopping the Bengals from reaching their goals is their pattern of season-crushing injuries.

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Next: Fire Marvin Lewis?

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